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Titties and Fried Chicken at the Gold Club

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This originally appeared in the SF Bay Guardian

“Come on Stuart. Titties and fried chicken. How can you, of all people, say no?”

They were cajoling me via Twitter. There’s probably some hip slang for that, twijoling maybe, but I don’t know what it is. Regardless, Mik, Ed, Dottie, and Cait were really giving it to me. And of course I caved. Willpower isn’t one of my powers. Plus, Mik was visiting from New York and I’d been meaning to go for so long anyway.

I said to myself, as I was putting on some clothes, “I don’t wanna live a life where I can’t drop everything and go to a strip club in the middle of the day for a free buffet.” I slipped on my shoes and responded to their latest tweet with, “Fine. On my way. I’m gonna make it rain chicken wings.”

I first heard about the Gold Club’s legendary Free Lunch Buffet at the Gold Club when I was compiling info for Broke-Ass Stuart’s Guide to Living Cheaply in San Francisco. An ex-girlfriend from college stripped at the Hustler Club and she’d heard about it from one of the girls she danced with. As I neared the Gold Club that day, I thought about how this was one of those SF things I’d always wanted to do and I was excited to finally be crossing it off my list. Walking in the front door a girl behind a counter told me that there was a $5 cover charge. I gladly paid it and went to find my friends.

“I fucking love this place!” Dottie yelled at me over the pulsing Top 40 music, “I come here every year for my birthday!” She’d just pulled her face out from between a stripper’s boobs and slipped a couple singles into the elastic of the girl’s thong.

“So wait, today’s your birthday?” I asked.

“No, but it sure feels like it,” she said with a big shit-eating grin. Just then Mik, Ed, and Cait sat down with plates heaping with food. There was chicken wings, slaw, biscuits, corn, mac and cheese, and so much more. I was about to tell them how amazing it looked when the strip club DJ boomed in his strip club DJ voice “Let’s give it up for the lovely Jasmine! Jasmine everybody! Now coming to the stage is the sensuous Cinnamon! Let’s hear it for Cinnamon!” Cinnamon began working the pole to a Lil John song.

“So is the food actually good?” I bellowed over the music.

“Hell yeah it is!” Mik yelled back.

“I’m on my second plate!” Ed said.

So I got up to find out for myself. I don’t go to many strip clubs, but the Gold Club was the nicest one I’d ever been to. Someone had spent a lot of money making it the most attractive place to get publicly undressed in SF. Considering the club’s location, and that it was just after noon on a Friday, the place was full of men and women in business suits, tech guys in tech guy clothes, and Financial District workers wearing North Face fleeces.

Surprisingly there were only one or two guys in sweatpants. I sat back down with my plate of food. “Goddamn, this is good!” I screamed over a Van Halen song. The crew just nodded in agreement. I got a second plate full and wolfed that down too. After a succession of girls with fragrant-sounding names took off their clothes to mediocre music, it was eventually time for each of us to get back to our respective works.

As we parted, we agreed it was the best lunch break in the history of people having lunch. “We’ll have to do this again next time Mik is in town” I said and we all went our separate ways.

I never did get to make it rain chicken wings.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

I've been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York, but to those familiar with my work, I'm just "that douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff and drinks a lot".